Rulemakers Studying How Investors Use Artificial Intelligence to Consume Financial Data

FASB and GASB are actively monitoring the evolution of electronic financial reporting, including how investors use artificial intelligence (AI) to consume data, the chairs of the accounting rulemaking boards said on February 28. FASB is keeping tabs on the use of AI, including chatbots such as ChatGpt, studying how users of financial statements consume financial reporting information, FASB Chair Richard Jones told trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) on Tuesday. “No, we’re not going to use it to write our standards—I would just note that,” he said. “But I think it is important and that’s part of our continuous outreach with investors in understanding their ability to process data, how they’re processing data, how do we get the most important data information in our investment capital allocation decisions.” Jones’s remarks were in response to a question posed by Trustee Vice Chair Mary Barth, who broached the issue of AI, noting “it is getting a lot of press,” and has generated a buzz among academics. Jones added that a key part of the board’s investor outreach “is really understanding which data is the most important, how is it processed, and when does it actually influence those capital allocation decisions.”


Application Period Open for Senior Accountants to Join Advisory Panel

The Global Preparers Forum (GPF) is seeking new members, especially senior accountants from emerging economies, North America and South America who work in the technology and media sectors, according to a Feb. 28 announcement. Selected members would start a new rotation on June 1 this year, for at least a two year-term, with a maximum of five-years per term. Membership may be renewed for another term; the maximum total membership period, including renewal, is 10 years, the GPF said. The application period ends on March 31. The Global Preparers Forum is an independent body from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and trustee body the IFRS Foundation, “with the specific objective of providing the IASB with regular input from the international community of preparers of financial statements.” Members of the forum offer advice to the IASB on the practical implications of its proposals for preparers of financial statements and provide input into concepts and proposals that the IASB is developing. GPF members are drawn from a variety of industries and geographical backgrounds. “Members are selected on the merits of their professional competence, active practical experience (including responsibility for IFRS Accounting policy and/or external IFRS Accounting reporting) and knowledge of IFRS Foundation developments,” the announcement explained.


Nearly All Large Global Companies Disclose ESG Information

For the third year in a row, more big global companies disclosed environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters than in previous years, with 95% having done so in 2021, the latest year available. The figures were 92% in 2020 and 91% in 2019. This is according to a third report about ESG disclosures and assurance practices around the world by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. The data is based on the largest companies in each jurisdiction by market capitalization for fiscal years 2019 and 2020, and March 21, 2022, for fiscal year 2021. In particular, 1,283 of 1,350 companies reported ESG information in 2021, compared to 1,283 of 1,400 companies in 2020. “Significant hurdles remain, however, when it comes to providing consistent, comparable and high-quality sustainability information for investors and lenders,” the two groups said on Feb. 27. The findings come as companies today are voluntarily providing ESG information, mostly using different rules set up by private standard-setters that have no regulatory authority.